Cannabis sativa has been associated with contradictory effects upon seizure states despite its medicinal use by numerous people with epilepsy. We have recently shown that the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) reduces seizure severity and lethality in the well-established in vivo model of pentylenetetrazole-induced generalised seizures, suggesting that earlier, small-scale clinical trials examining CBD effects in people with epilepsy warrant renewed attention. Here, we report the effects of pure CBD (1, 10 and 100mg/kg) in two other established rodent seizure models, the acute pilocarpine model of temporal lobe seizure and the penicillin model of partial seizure. Seizure activity was video recorded and scored offline using model-specific seizure severity scales. In the pilocarpine model CBD (all doses) significantly reduced the percentage of animals experiencing the most severe seizures. In the penicillin model, CBD (≥ 10 mg/kg) significantly decreased the percentage mortality as a result of seizures; CBD (all doses) also decreased the percentage of animals experiencing the most severe tonic-clonic seizures. These results extend the anti-convulsant profile of CBD; when combined with a reported absence of psychoactive effects, this evidence strongly supports CBD as a therapeutic candidate for a diverse range of human epilepsies.
Copyright © 2012 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.